When selling a home, sellers can expect the process to take a couple of months, maybe less, maybe more. Factors like the location, season, and surrounding market can affect how quickly one can sell their home, meaning getting to a closing date can sometimes exceed one’s desired timeline.
Frustrated sellers fed up with the length of time they are waiting for legit offers might look for other options. One common sight on many city streets are signs or posters bearing phrases like “We Buy Houses,” and these can look very appealing to those looking to sell quickly. What is the deal with these ads, and can you trust whoever is posting them?
Who Puts Up Those “We Buy Houses” Ads?
The businesspeople putting up these flyers are usually cash buyers, sometimes referred to as opportunity investors. This latter term is very fitting, as these buyers are looking to purchase homes from sellers who are in distress and must move the property quickly. The people most cash buyers target are people in situations that require a fast – even desperate – sale: divorcing couples, those declaring bankruptcy and foreclosure, and property sales that liquidate the asset and distribute the money from the sale to the family (also known as probate sales).
Opportunity buyers will attempt to close on the property with speed, often within 30 days, and they do so by offering cash and waiving any inspection contingencies to move the home quickly. They can because they do not have to deal with the arrangements for financing. While this can all sound like a pretty great deal, don’t jump at it just yet – not without a little research!
Why Many Cash Buyers Are Too Good To Be True
The problem is that many smooth-talking scammers use “We Buy Houses” ads to entice frustrated sellers. When they receive a call, these buyers will try to set up a meeting as soon as possible. One type of scheme is buying a home but not taking care of the mortgage; this has led to many unsuspecting sellers still being responsible for paying the mortgage on a property they no longer own. Another is asking for fees upfront; because most agents take any fees and commissions after the deal goes through, this is a warning sign that the buyer you are dealing with is a con artist.
Before you ever call a number you see on a cash buyer ad, research the people behind the poster first. See if the ad has a company or buyer name and website; if it is just a phone number, avoid calling this buyer. Most home buying businesses want to advertise their name and give their potential clients as much information about their intentions as possible, and a website that shows their credentials is proof that they are honest. You can try to trace a single phone number on an ad, but many of these buyers route phone calls through services that make them untraceable!
Even when you are desperate to sell, off-loading your home with a cash buyer you found through a simple “We Buy Houses” ad is not your only alternative. Talk to a property buyer you can trust to do what is right for you, your property, and the community!